Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

Encouraging NSAID trends

The National Prescribing Centre (NPC) has published a blog article that reveals encouraging improvements in the prescribing of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Prescribing data demonstrate a 5.6% reduction in NSAID prescribing between December 2005 and November 2008. In addition, prescribing of diclofenac has declined by approximately 5% since November 2007 while naproxen usage increased by approximately 4%.

Recent analyses have revealed differences in the cardiovascular (CV) and gastrointestinal (GI) risk profiles for different NSAIDs. Advice from the NPC and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency recommends cautious use of NSAIDs after consideration of the individual patient's risk factors.

Action: Clinicians should continue to review CV and GI risk when considering prescribing NSAIDs and use the agent of lowest overall risk.

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